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Govt Held Responsible For Journalist Fakhruddin’s Death From Covid-19

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Senior journalist Fakhruddin Syed fell victim of the Covid-19 pandemic at Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) in Peshawar. He was in his fifties.

Syed was tested positive for coronavirus some ten days ago and was under self-isolation at home when five days back his health deteriorated and he was shifted to the HMC Peshawar.

He was being treated with the plasma of a recovered patient and his condition was improving, but on Wednesday night, his health suddenly deteriorated and he was put on a ventilator in the intensive care unit of the hospital. On Thursday morning, he succumbed to his injuries. He is survived by a widow and two daughters.

Syed had years of experience in the media industry. He has been working for 92 News channel as a correspondent from Peshawar. Previously, he had worked for several well-reputed media organisations, including Daily Jihad, Daily Roznama Pakistan, Aaj News, and Dawn News TV.

Advisor to the KP Chief Minister Ajmal Wazir paid rich tribute to Syed. He said, “we will never forget his contributions to journalism”. The advisor to KP CM has announced Rs1 million as compensation money for the family of deceased journalist.

Rasool Dawar, a local journalist, said the government, especially with the health minister, cooperation remained missing during the course of Syed’s treatment. He said that the KP government had made various announcements before but the practical implementation could not be made so far.

Dawar hoped that the Syed family would be able to receive the compensation money.

Wisal Yousafzai, another journalist based in Peshawar, while commenting on Syed’s journalistic life, said, “He was a hard-working journalist and a great colleague.” The journalists’ community will always miss his pleasant smile and polite attitude toward his juniors, Yousafzai said.

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Khyber Union of Journalists (KUJ), while criticising the government’s failure to facilitate journalists, said that the situation in the case of Syed would have been different if he had received timely facilitation and support from the KP government and the health minister.

KUJ in its statement on Thursday demanded of the KP government to take notice of the negligence committed by the health minister.

Ahtesham Khan, another journalist from Peshawar, said 13 journalists have been tested positive for Covid-19; of which one has died and the rest are quarantined without any government support.

Khan said the government’s support to the affected journalists and their families is not satisfactory. Many affected journalists are facing difficulties in getting their families tested due to the non-cooperative attitude of the government. About compensation, he said the government didn’t give a single penny to the affected journalist so far.

Earlier this month, a report released by Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists said that the novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of three media persons in the country and infected 159 others. The report highlighted that camera journalists and photojournalists have been the biggest sufferers since the outbreak of the deadly Covid-19.

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